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Prudential chief pushes ahead with takeover

Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive of Prudential, has today indicated he will be pushing ahead with the proposed acquisition of AIG's Asian business for around USD35 billion. There has been intense speculation in the marketplace that the deal could be delayed or even cancelled due to regulatory and funding issues which have appeared over the last few days. However, it seems as though the company is more determined than ever to push ahead with the deal.

It is believed the company is on the verge of asking AIG to reduce the asking price by around USD2 billion, a move which may be controversial and unexpected but unlikely to be a dealbreaker. There is no doubt that the US authorities, who have pumped billions of dollars of taxpayer's money into the company, will be looking to cash in as soon as possible and at least give US taxpayers some kind of return in the short-term.

There has been some concern about the size of the transactions since it was announced several weeks ago and indeed many questions have been asked of the current management and the experience of the main board. The deal is literally on a knife edge and the next few days will be vital.

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